Members of Pasadena Lapidary Society, along with most serious rockhounds, wait anxiously all year to make the 3-1/2 hour trek to Quartzsite, AZ in January. Some stay right into February, camping nearby in order to go rockhounding at their leisure, and others check in to the few motels in town or travel the 22 miles back/forth to Blythe, CA for lodging.
One of the biggest draws in Quartzsite is the QIA POWWOW, always held the third week in January. This year the POWWOW runs from January 20-24. If you’ve never been, the POWWOW is like a huge swap meet focused on gems, minerals, rocks and everything related. Admission is free and so is parking. Here’s a weblink to check it out: http://www.qiaarizona.org/.
There are other rock shows being held throughout both months, two of the most popular ones being Desert Gardens https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/Event/Desert-Gardens-Rock-Gem-and-Mineral-Show-667193560050537/ from Jan. 1 to Feb. 28, and Tyson Wells https://www.tysonwells.com/. Here’s the calendar of events from the City of Quartzsite website: http://www.quartzsitecalendar.com/
Self-professed as “The Rock Capital of the World”, Quartzsite is a town in La Paz County of +/- 2,000 inhabitants that swells to a couple of million in January and February each year. Situated 125 miles west of Phoenix at the junction of Interstate 10 and U.S. Highway 95, it enjoys a close association with the Colorado River, just 18 miles to the west.
Town of Quartzsite
PLS Members visited one of our favorite spots for gemstones in the North Cady Mountains, about three hours northeast of Pasadena, over Thanksgiving weekend.
The Cady Mountains have produced more gemstones than almost any other Southern California location and we explored the northern part of the range, looking for jasper, agate, fluorite, calcite, and amethyst in places where few rock hounds go. You can join us in the Cadys sometime in the future, by becoming a member of Pasadena Lapidary Society. Check out the photos below to see some of our finds.
Black and blue agate
Botryoidal blue agate
Calcite with fluorite
Mud tube agate
Orbicular red jasper
Top notch agate
Ken Rogers of the Culver City Rock & Mineral Club, will be the featured speaker at our Tuesday, January 21st meeting when he discusses “Pictures in Rocks”.
Our January Rock of the Month talk will be presented by PLS member David Lacy with a focus on Feldspar.
The Tuesday, January 21st meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. in the Donald R. Wright Auditorium of the Pasadena Main Library at 285 E. Walnut Street, Pasadena, CA 91101. Open to the public.
Rock of the Month Presentation
by Mona Ross
Our January Rock of the Month talk will be by Pasadena Lapidary VP Mona Ross, on Psilomelane, a group name for hard black manganese oxides.
A Brief History of Beads
by Janie Duncan
PLS member Janie Duncan will present ‘A Brief History of Beads’ at our first program meeting of the New Year.
We hold informative monthly meetings. Our meetings are held in the comfort of the Donald Wright Auditorium of the Pasadena Central Library, 285 E. Walnut Street, Pasadena, California. Comfortable seating, lighting, a stage and audio-visual system allows us to attract quality speakers, provide demonstrations and interesting videos for our members!
Meetings are the third Tuesday of the month. Members and guests arrive between 6 pm and 6:30 pm for refreshments and information exchange. A display table at the back of the room allows our Education Committee and society members to display creations, finds, and the birthstone of the month. It is also a place for members and guests to have unknown minerals identified.
Our meetings begin at 6:30 pm and end at 8:45 pm. They include a business session and a program on a subject relating to our earth science hobby. Refreshments are served at a break between the sessions. The program may include demonstrations, slide shows, videos, auctions, show and sell, or lectures on various subjects.
On Sunday, September 16th, take a field trip. It’s Collect Rocks Day! From timeanddate.com:
While the origins of this obviously made up holiday are unknown, we can safely assume that the day encourages people to learn more about geology. Geology is the study of the Earth, its materials and the processes through which these materials are created.
Three Major Types
Rocks are tightly compacted formations of minerals and are found all over the lithosphere, the top solid layer of the Earth. Geologists classify rocks into three major types based on texture, composition, and size. These types are igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks. Almost 65% of the Earth is made up of igneous rocks, though over time one type of rock can turn into another due to exposure to the Earth’s atmosphere and environmental factors. This transition between different type of rocks is called a rock cycle.
How to Celebrate?
Rocks have been an integral part of human activity since antiquity. Some of the earliest weapons and musical instruments were made of rocks. Mining of rocks has made it possible for humans to use metals and other materials for developing technology. Here are some ways you can show your appreciation for rocks and their importance in our daily lives:
- Take a walk and collect different kinds of rocks – who knows you may just find a new fossil hiding in the rocks?
- Learn more about the different types of rocks so that you can identify the types of rocks you just collected.
- Not sure what to do with the rocks? What about painting on them and displaying them creatively?
- If painting is not your thing, but you are still creatively inclined, why not spend the day learning about rock art? Rock art is art made on rock. Ancient humans used it as a way to record significant events and as part of rituals. If there is an archealogical site close to where you live, that features such art, why not take a trip to see it?
Did You Know…
…that petrology is the scientific study of rocks?